50 different strains of feared superbug MRSA circulating in Irish hospitals
There have been 50 different strains of the feared superbug MRSA circulating in Irish hospitals in the last 12 years.
Researchers have discovered strains of MRSA affecting Irish patients that are more resistant and virulent than more common forms of the superbug.
MRSA is a bacterial infection resistant to many common antibiotics, making it more difficult to treat.
“Many of them are drug resistant and many of them are virulent,” Professor David Coleman told RTE’s Morning Ireland today.
The Professor said in recent years, there have been huge advances and scientists can now do research in one afternoon that would have taken them years.
“We can rapidly analyse the strains and find what they’re resistant to and find their virulence.”
He said it was very possible that we will get new strains emerging of MRSA.
“We will get new strains emerging,” he warned.
However, he said the speed at which scientists can detect new strains is improving.
In 2002, the current strain of MRSA – ST22 – became established.
Typically, one dominant strain will be present for six or seven years, and then it’s replaced by another strain, he said.
Professor David Coleman is Professor and Chair of Oral and Applied Microbiology at the School of Dental Science in Trinity.
He said overall the number of infections have been declining in recent years.
The researchers from the Oral Biosciences Microbiology Unit in the School of Dental Science in Trinity College studied a large sample of MRSA that occurred sporadically in patients with bloodstream infections in Irish hospitals between 2000-2012.
They hope their study will help early detection of new strains of the superbug.